Onaiyekan, Apochi To Unveil Idoma Bible | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Onaiyekan, Apochi To Unveil Idoma Bible

Posted: Jul 9, 2015 at 9:23 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, will on Sunday, July 11, alongside Bishop Michael Apochi of the Diocese of Otukpo, Benue State, host a concelebrated Mass to formally present the long-awaited Idoma Bible, ‘Ubayibu k’Idoma’, to the general public. 

The event, which is being coordinated by Rev. Fr. Anthony Ochigbo of the Catholic Church of Assumption,  Asokoro-Abuja, at St. Aloysius Primary School, Garki, Abuja, would mark the first time the Old and New Testaments would be  fully translated into  Idoma.

Idoma is one of the two major languages spoken in Benue State.

The first translation of the Bible, the Gospel of Mark, was done in 1927 by Rev. William Norcross of the Primitive  Methodists at a time when no Idoma person could read or write English.  That feat was followed by the  translation of Christian hymns into Idoma, also by Rev.  William Norcross.

The Methodists were soon followed by the Catholic Church, which made spirited  efforts to translate hymns, prayers and the Catechism of the Catholic Church into the Idoma language.

In the early 1970s, there was another bold attempt by the Steward Company to translate the Bible into Idoma language. Entitled, ‘Eka Eyipe,  the New Testament’, that effort received the acclamation of  Christians in Idomaland.

That effort, however, failed to hit the target apparently because there were very few copies of the book in circulation.

Moreover, the translators used the Agatu dialect which made its reading difficult for most  Idoma-speaking people.